Remembering Mike Harris

  • Last year when I started my challenges and started posting on BFL, I met Mike.  He became my guide.  Here was a man a year older than me and still going full bore.  No other person ever made it so clear to me that old is just a state of mind.  I have always admired his incredible giving, his unbelievable discipline and commitment and his soft but firm way of helping and inspiring others.

    I will continue to try to make myself the best I can be. Mike, thank you for raising the bar so high.

     

    Via con dios..

    10's in exercise and nutrition = 10's in life

  • I remember whining about finances and my kids grad, and the other kids wedding this year and how could I ever make it to Nashville...Mike said if I want to go bad enough I would make it work. Plain and simple. Those honest words were in my head the whole day, and the following day I booked my room at the Gaylord - not knowing how, but knowing I will GET TO Nashville.

  • Shortly after starting to post, I sent him an email personally introducing myself and talking about how we had age and spirit in common.  He wrote back hoping I had a great challenge.  He ended by saying "you might even do better than me."   I was so impressed that his ego wasn't part of what he had to share.  He wasn't afraid to give it all way.  He knew it all comes back.

    10's in exercise and nutrition = 10's in life

  • Does anyone know any details of his death?

    fit4life "The dream must be bigger than the pain"

  • Michael T. Harris died Sunday, May 30th 2010.

    He lives on through the thousands of lives he's touched around the world. Uncle Mike was a cornerstone of the Body for Life fitness community. He was a Body for Life Grand Champion, a father, a grand father, and a husband. He was a recovering alcoholic, and most important for him he was a Christian. These pieces all combined into one powerhouse of a man, a man who was forthright, honest, and told you exactly what you needed to hear. Even when you didn't want to hear it.

    Funny thing, most of us would describe a best friend the same way. And that's what Mike was. He was the best friend you could ever have. You could argue with him until you were both blue in the face, completely disagree with every point he made, yet at the end of it all you knew he still loved you. Because that's just who Mike was. He loved people. He cared deeply and that's what inspired him to reach out day in and day out.

    I could pull dozens of Mike stories out of the hopper. I could recount arguments, moments of counsel, and even dig out photographic proof that Mike would indeed eat peanut butter and bananas. Those snapshots in time would give you a glimpse at the kind of person Mike was.

    Yet it's Mike's final two acts which sum him up. Mike went out for a bike ride Sunday morning and didn't come back. He died while out on the trail, living an active life. Most of us talk about wanting to die doing something we love. Mike did just that. He was out enjoying the body he built for himself over the years.

    Which brings us to his last act. Mike Harris was an organ donor. He took the time to sign his organ donor card and let his family know of his wishes. While I don't know which organs were donated, I can imagine. Somewhere this morning a man is waking up with new corneas, and he notices that he sees things with a remarkable clarity and sharpness. A young woman wakes up and takes a deep breath, inflating lungs that feel like they can carry her up an endless flight of stairs. A former alcoholic who had lost both kidneys is off dialysis for the first time in years.

    All of them have a strange craving for bananas and peanut butter.

    Last we come to his heart. How I envy the person who ends up with that huge, caring heart. Not may of us can say we have the heart of a lion beating within us.

    Love you Mike.

  • Wow...thank you for posting Clara. Simply awesome.

  • Clara, I was thinking the same thing when I found out he was an organ donor. The recipients are extremely blessed to have a part of a great man!

    Thank you for sharing!

    Would you know of any foundation that Mike was especially fond of where one could make a donation in memory of him?

    DebMO :0)           Blessed to be a Blessing...

  • Clara... very nice. Thank you. thankyouthankyouthankyou!!!

  • Clara pretty much sums it all up so eloquenlty.

    We lost a true friend this weekend.

    Uncle Mike gave me some of his tough love it and it was only after some soul searching that I realized he was right.  I e-mailed him to tell him he was right and unlike many who would say "I told you so" he was so very gracious and encouraging.  And to top it off, he offered to help me with writing an essay for the BFL contest.  A true champion..................

    Please, sign your donor cards ....

    AND PLEASE DO NOT TAKE FOR GRANTED THOSE WHO ARE CLOSE TO YOU.  THEY CAN BE GONE AT ANY MOMENT.

    Rest in peace Mike, thank you for all your advice and wisdom.  I love you.

  • Wow Clara!  What a beautiful tribute to an amazing man.  

  • Deb, I imagine that information will come out over the next couple days regarding the family's preference for donations.

    There's one donation we can all do right now.  Sign your organ donor card. Then tell your loved ones of your decision. It takes just a few minutes and it's one action you can take that will have an incredible impact.

    My card is signed. Is yours?

  • for info on signing in your state go to www.donatelife.com

  • Clara, Yes my organ donor card is signed. Eva Jo thanks for the web address!

    Knowing that part of Mike is living on through others gives me a sense of peace...What a great man!

    DebMO :0)           Blessed to be a Blessing...

  • What a loss to this world!  Mike was such a powerful influence on me and every one of us.  I was just so shocked when I heard the news this morning.  

    Clara - Thank you for putting into words what we all feel.

    Laurie, 2010 Body-for-Life Champion 46+

    Never underestimate your power to change.